Bombshell reports reveal that a representative of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, created a WhatsApp group chat called “Greggs” a couple of weeks ago after the announcement of the 2019 UK general election.
In this group were employees that work with the politician and around 20 journalists and activists were included, all allegedly to secretly coordinate campaigns and messages to the press in order to help Corbyn's party win the election.
Within the group, it was made explicitly clear that no one mention its existence. The secrecy was so important that the group ceased to be active as soon as Corbyn staff indicated that someone had leaked the existence of the group.
“HI all, welcome to Greggs. The finest of the finest. We have a GE to win and wanted to create a space for us all to get info, updates and general support,” the introductory message read.
“From us expect — updates on JC & Shad Cab movements, lines, briefings, transcripts, invites to events and asks of support for certain content.”
Group chats channels are not uncommon in political campaigns or for members of parliament and parties to communicate with journalists — the Conservative euro-skeptic group European Research Group (ERG), for example, have a broadcast list to announce events to political journalists in WhatsApp. What's different in this instance, though, is that the Greggs' Group was specifically designed to get Jeremy Corbyn elected. “We have a GE to win.”
Corbyn has a history of using younger columnists and journalists such as The Guardian's Owen Jones as mouthpieces to publicize his thoughts about the leaders and actions of the political right and so it is not surprising that this group followed the same editorial line, the report from Buzzfeed states.
A varied group
The WhatsApp group included more than 20 journalists from different networks, such as the BBC, Guardian, BuzzFeed News, and Private Eye contributors, members of I Paper, several freelancers, and even comedian Josie Long and author Alex Williams.
At the time of being questioned about their involvement with the group's activities, the vast majority did not respond, while Joseph Todd (Novara Media), Vincent Bevins (freelancer) and Liam Young (I Paper) declined to give statements.
As expected, The Labour Party has not issued statements about the actions of this secret group. This does not help the public image of Corbyn since it is known that there are other WhatsApp groups that are still active.
It is indicated that the main group they use is responsible for the most aggressive messages and the most extreme campaigns in favor of Corbyn and the party in general.